Expert Panel To Strengthen Victoria’s Electoral System

11 May 2023

The Andrews Labor Government has established an expert panel to consider ways of further strengthening the integrity of Victoria’s electoral and political donations system.

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson today announced the appointment of the
independent Electoral Review Expert Panel, in consultation with the Electoral Matters Committee of Parliament.

The panel will be chaired by Ms Elizabeth Williams, who was Victoria’s Deputy Electoral Commissioner from 2005 to 2021.

Ms Williams will serve alongside Mr David Feeney and Ms Helen Kroger, who both hold extensive practical
experience in electoral matters and community advocacy as former Members of the Commonwealth Parliament.

As required by the Labor Government’s significant reforms to the Electoral Act 2002 in 2018, the panel will review the operation of the amendments at the 2022 Victorian Election.

The 2018 reforms banned anonymous donations above $1,000 and placed a general cap of $4,000 on the value of donations from a single source in a four-year electoral cycle, indexed annually, and made other reforms to strengthen the integrity of Victoria’s electoral system.

A review of the reforms following a full electoral cycle allows their effectiveness to be assessed, as well as enabling the panel to consider whether Victoria’s political donations regime can be strengthened further.

The review will specifically consider whether the Electoral Act 2002 should include a cap on political expenditure, as well as other matters, such as the effectiveness of recent changes to electronically assisted voting.

The expert panel will also consider the donations-related recommendations made by IBAC in its October 2022 special report on corruption risks.

This report is due by 24 November 2023.

The Panel will provide a further supplementary report, by 24 February 2024, which examines the Government’s commitment to require major political parties to fulfill minimum party administration requirements to receive public funding.

The Labor Government will aim to ensure that any recommendations to amend the Electoral Act 2002 from this review are considered for implementation before the 2026 State Election.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson

“Victoria’s donation laws are the toughest in Australia – we’ve made important changes and the panel will assess those reforms and consider options to make further improvements.”

“We’ll continue to work to ensure Victorians can have full faith in the integrity of the electoral system.”

Reviewed 11 May 2023

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